Narrative Essays

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Generic application software

Software refers to computer programs. A program is a sequence of instructions that tells the computer’s processor what to do. There are two types of software: • system software • application software. System software: manages the computer hardware provides a uniform environment for application programs to run performs housekeeping and monitoring tasks.

Application software: allows the user to do useful tasks with the computer such as playing games, writing a letter or monitoring hospital patients • is often supplied as a package • can be generic (off-the-shelf) and is general purpose • can be bespoke, where it is custom-written for a specific task.

Application programs
Application programs commonly have facilities for: • working in a graphical user interface (GUI) • managing data files and working on multiple files • navigating through the work and changing the ‘zoom level’ • importing files and inserting embedded objects • creating and editing drawings • formatting text and graphics and editing content using insertion, deletion, cut-and-paste, copyand-paste and find-and-replace and Undo and Redo commands • language checking • saving and using templates • viewing a file as it will be printed (WYSIWYG) • creating macros and assigning them to buttons and images • hyperlinking • exporting files in other formats • printing files.

Generic application programs
You may be asked to justify your choice of a type of generic application software (no brand names) for a particular purpose. For the particular features of each type of software, refer to the coursebook, especially if you do not have practical experience of it.

Cambridge IGCSE Computer Studies

© Cambridge University Press 2011

Revision notes: 1 Generic application software


Generic Application software
desktop publishing (DTP) word processing spreadsheet

General use of software
publications with complex layout, e.g. posters,...
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